5 Cheese Marinara Meatballs are made with ground pork, ground beef, parmesan, Romano, asiago, mozzarella and ricotta cheese. They are cooked in marinara sauce in the slow cooker, guaranteeing a moist and juicy meatball!
Meatballs are an (almost) weekly dinner staple in my household. Over the years I have made them in a frying pan, in the oven or on the stovetop in homemade sauce.
My favorite way to cook meatballs though, is in my slow cooker! This is a no-fail method that doesn’t need to be tended to at all during the cooking process.
- Made in the slow cooker – set it and forget it!
- Recipe yields 2 dozen meatballs
- Easy to freeze
- Makes for great leftovers
- Ground beef & ground pork – My 5 Cheese Marinara Meatballs are made with a combination of ground beef and ground pork. If you ever get the opportunity to purchase your beef and pork in bulk from a local farmer, I highly recommend you do it! We are fortunate to live in an area where we have access to farmers selling directly to consumers. We always have a freezer stocked full of different cuts of beef and pork.
- Marinara sauce – I used marinara sauce straight from a jar for this recipe. It is a huge timesaver and I am all about saving time!
- Eggs – You will need two eggs to add to the ground meat mixture.
- Panko bread crumbs – I would say that 99% of the time, I use panko bread crumbs when cooking. I prefer the taste and texture. This recipe calls for unseasoned panko bread crumbs.
- Shredded parmesan cheese – The shredded parmesan cheese is added to the pork and beef meatball mix.
- Grated onion – Grated white onion is made by grating onion on a box grater. Using the large holes on the wide side of a 4-sided box grater, grate the onion until you have 1/2 cup onion.
- Oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, minced garlic & Worcester sauce – These are all used to enhance the flavor of the meatballs.
- Parmesan, Romano, asiago, mozzarella & ricotta cheese – This is the five cheese mixture that is added to the marinara sauce at the end of cook time.
Kitchen tools & equipment needed
- Slow cooker (AKA crockpot)
- Box grater
- Large mixing bowl
- Cutting board and chopping knife
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
How to make 5 Cheese Marinara Meatballs
- Add – Add the panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, pepper and 1 cup shredded parmesan to a large mixing bowl and mix together.
- Add – Add the grated onion, eggs, minced garlic and Worcester sauce to the large mixing bowl and combine with the dry ingredients.
- Combine – Add the ground beef and the ground pork to the meatball mixture. Using your hands, combine all ingredients together until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the meatball mix.
- Pour – Pour 1 jar of marinara sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Roll – Using your hands, roll the meatballs into small golf ball sized balls. Place each rolled meatball into the bottom of the slow cooker. Start by putting all the meatballs in an even layer. Once you have formed 1 layer, you can start laying additional meatballs on top of each other.
- Pour – Pour the second jar of marinara sauce on top of the meatballs. Try to cover the meatballs in the sauce.
- Slow cook – Cook the meatballs in the slow cooker for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
- Mix – After the meatballs have finished cooking, mix the five cheeses (parmesan, Romano, asiago, mozzarella & ricotta) into the sauce. Stir the cheeses in until they have melted.
- Serve & enjoy!
- Serve the Five Cheese Marinara Meatballs over spaghetti, penne, angel hair or fusilli pasta noodles!
- Five-Cheese Marinara Meatballs could also be served on a sub roll and made into meatball subs or on a pizza shell for meatball pizza.
- Keep it low-carb and serve the meatballs over spaghetti squash or with a simple green salad.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, meatballs are an excellent food to make ahead and freeze. Simply make the meatballs, allow them to fully cool and store them in a zip top freezer bag.
No, they are not gluten free. You could easily make them gluten free though by making some simple swaps! For example, simply swap out the wheat based panko bread crumbs for gluten free bread crumbs.
You could try adding some provolone cheese and also fresh mozzarella cheese.
Did you make this recipe? Tell me all about it below!